Internship Opportunities

Looking for an Impactful Internship?

CWC is looking for motivated college and high school students to participate in a limited number of internships each quarter and semester. Non-students looking to gain new skills or contribute their efforts towards CWC goals are also welcome to apply as volunteers to the organization.

We work with each intern to create a unique experience that meets their career goals and furthers CWC’s mission. Each intern is paired with a CWC staff member who will guide and mentor them to achieve their goals. Interns gain hands-on experience both in an office setting and in the field.

Apply Today

To apply, please email the following to

  1. A resume
  2. A statement of interest describing what internship position you’d like to apply for, what your goals for the internship would be and why you’re interested in working with CWC
  3. A brief (1-2 page) writing sample (on any topic)
Apply Today

Available CWC Internship Positions

River Events Internship

CWC envisions a Santa Cruz Riverwalk at its full potential with people relaxing, meeting with friends, picnicking, biking and passing through on their way to school or work. CWC hosts diverse events along the river and participates in events hosted by our partners like Earth Day and Guelaguetza. We also encourage people to host their own event and support them with permitting, promotion and gathering necessary supplies to create the river event of their dreams. CWC is seeking an energetic and confident River Events Intern to support all types of river events at the Santa Cruz Riverwalk.

Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Plan, organize and coordinate CWC’s river events. 
  • Identify and support external partners in organizing river events.  
  • Recruit new groups and individuals to host the river events along the Santa Cruz Riverwalk.  
  • Conduct event promotion.  
  • Organize event permits and coordinate event planning with the City of Santa Cruz.  
  • Attend and photograph events.  
  • Share media and attendee stories on Facebook, Instagram and on the CWC website.  
  • Track event attendees.  
  • Other duties as assigned.  


The schedule for the position is flexible on weekdays. A River Events Intern should be available to work certain weekends of the month.  

Benefits of the Internship: 

  • Develop event planning, community outreach and social media marketing skills.   
  • Fun, fast-paced position with diverse tasks and responsibilities.  
  • Grow your community in Santa Cruz and connect with different individuals and groups.  
  • Creative freedom in designing and coordinating events.  

Learn More and Apply Today

Grantwriting Internship

The Grantwriting Intern supports the Coastal Watershed Council’s fund development work to support the transformation of the lower San Lorenzo River into a community destination by inspiring people to explore, enhance and protect this critical natural resourceThe Grantwriting Intern will learn how to use a sales pipeline of prospecting, researching, cultivating, asking and stewarding potential private foundation, corporate and government grantmakers.  

Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Conduct research private foundation, corporate and government grantmakers. 
  • Write letters of inquiry and proposals for grants. 
  • Collaborate with CWC program staff to develop strategic base proposals to support all CWC programs. 
  • Attend organizational activities including events, staff meetings and programs in the field. 
  • Provide logistical support to CWC’s development team for grantwriting activities. 


The schedule for the position is flexible on weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Benefits of the Internship: 

  • Learn a critical skill – grantwriting – that is applicable in almost any field. 
  • Hone your writing and communications skills as you learn to pitch CWC programs to funders. 
  • Learn about local environmental issues.  
  • Gain exposure to and understanding of nonprofit operations.  

Learn More and Apply Today

Environmental Education Internship

The Environmental Education Intern supports the Coastal Watershed Council’s Watershed Rangereducation program by co-leading activities during after-school programs at Santa Cruz City Schools and community partners.  

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Conduct research related to lessons. 
  • Assist in the development of education activities and materials for education programs.  
  • Co-lead activities with CWC education staff.  
  • Assist with set-up and clean-up of activities.   
  • Provide logistical support in preparation for school visits and coordination with schools.  



Two days a week (Monday-Friday) from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Benefits of the Internship: 

  • Develop and practice communication, teaching, leadership and group management skills.  
  • Learn about local environmental issues.  
  • Gain exposure to and understanding of nonprofit operations.  
  • Develop hands-on water quality monitoring skills.  

Learn More and Apply Today

River Restoration Internship

The Coastal Watershed Council maintains approximately 3 acres of habitat restoration area along the San Lorenzo River between the Soquel Avenue Bridge and Laurel Street Bridge. In this area, CWC staff and volunteers have planted hundreds of beneficial native plants and removed invasive plants. CWC leads monthly River Health Day events for community members of all ages to volunteer at the restoration site. CWC also leads regular team-building experiences at the restoration area for local companies and community organizations.  River Restoration Champions will play a critical role in the success of this restoration area through leading maintenance, and supporting community engagement and volunteerism.

Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Regularly water, weed and conduct site maintenance.  
  • Track plant survival and map biological diversity. 
  • Promote River Health Day opportunities and recruit volunteers.  
  • Lead River Health Day events for your community. 
  • Teach volunteers and community members about the San Lorenzo River and the ecological significance of the riparian corridor.  
  • Document and share volunteer participation and volunteer stories. 
  • Collaborate with CWC staff to plan and facilitate special events as needed.  
  • Other duties as assigned.  


The schedule for the position is flexible on weekdays. River Restoration Interns should be available to work River Health Day events one weekend a month.

Benefits of the Internship: 

  • Develop strong communication, teaching, leadership and group management skills.  
  • Learn about San Lorenzo River ecosystem, botany, restoration ecology and California native plants.   
  • Grow your community and connect with other river lovers.  
  • Develop hands-on habitat restoration skills.  

Learn More and Apply Today

“As a Science Communications Intern, it has been a rewarding experience to create website content designed to inform people on CWC programs and how they can get involved. I believe my work will encourage community members to preserve, protect and engage with the San Lorenzo River. Participating in this internship has allowed me to try something new, gain valuable skills, and I ultimately found something I am passionate about. Additionally, this internship has given me the chance to improve on the skills necessary to work within the non-profit industry, which has helped me secure a job after graduation.”

— Casandra Cortez

Science Communications Intern

“Being a resident in California, the Santa Cruz beachfront and surrounding rivers and bodies of water have been one of my favorite places to visit. After finishing my Junior year at UC Santa Cruz where I am majoring in Environmental studies combined with Biology, I decided to look for more opportunities to become involved with the area. I applied for an internship at the Coastal Watershed Council under the monitoring and restoration category. The staff at CWC are extremely resourceful and taught me valuable skills that cannot be found inside the classroom, such as conducting water quality field work that includes collection of water quality parameters, bacteria and nutrient samples and conducting field observations. The internship provided me with an opportunity to actually contribute to the restoration of the watershed in the area that I live and love. Thank you CWC for this opportunity!”

— Everett Louie

Water Quality Monitoring Intern

“As an Outreach Intern I combined and applied my interests of environmental issues and community engagement while working with the fun and enthusiastic staff at CWC. This was an incredible opportunity for me to work with others who share similar interests and I enjoyed the various tasks I took on each day. Whether I was writing an article for the monthly newsletter, designing posters for events, drafting press releases or even going out into the field to assist in water quality monitoring, I was always doing something where I was having a positive impact on the environment and community around me. Thank you Coastal Watershed Council for a great summer!”

— Spencer Schwartz

“I first got involved with CWC through the internship program where I monitored water quality near Elkhorn Slough for six months. This monitoring tracked the progress of a restoration project that converted conventionally-farmed land into organic farms and critical wetland habitat for threatened species of salamanders and frogs. Once my formal internship was complete, I continued to volunteer with the CWC, helping with community events and special projects, like Snapshot Day and the San Lorenzo Riverwalk Usage Study. Volunteering with the CWC has allowed me to apply my background in science to enact meaningful change in my community and has opened my eyes to the many benefits a healthy watershed.”

— Marshall Danese

“This summer we created and presented lessons on climate change for 7th and 8th grade students. We visited the Buena Vista Landfill, San Jose Materials Recycling Facility and City of Santa Cruz Resource Recovery Facility to research and create lessons on waste and recycling. It was both challenging and exciting to find ways to engage kids in complex environmental issues and to motivate them to become stewards of and advocates for the environment. Our experience working with CWC was beneficial and gratifying and we hope to use the skills we acquired in future pursuits protecting our environment.”

— Nico Ponza and Emma Stokes